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MICHELAR's Photo MICHELAR Posts: 22,181
2/26/08 6:19 P

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WOW CJ sounds alot like me but I overcame the deep water thing, still afraid of heights! I get nervous driving over bridges. Haven't come too close to a shark yet, but I know enough to stay calm! Would love to hear more about your story too.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore. (Anonymous)

From wine what sudden friendship springs! (John Gay 1685- 1732)



KISSIETAZ2's Photo KISSIETAZ2 SparkPoints: (31,395)
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2/26/08 10:06 A

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CJ...I can't wait to hear the rest of the story! emoticon

If we can be courageous one more time than we are fearful, trusting one more time than we are anxious, cooperative one more time than we are competitive, forgiving one more time than we are vindictive, loving one more time than we are hateful, we will have moved closer to the next breakthrough in our evolution.



Jonas Salk


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CJROMB's Photo CJROMB Posts: 3,585
2/26/08 9:40 A

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I'm claustrophic, afraid of heights, afraid of deep water, scared of sharks, and don't care for swimming. I'm the perfect dive candidate, right? :) I don't have time to write how I learned to dive now, but I've actually done some public speaking on it!

I can do anything I set my mind to doing.


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MICHELAR's Photo MICHELAR Posts: 22,181
2/10/08 1:56 P

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I agree Kissie! Scuba does rock! emoticon

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore. (Anonymous)

From wine what sudden friendship springs! (John Gay 1685- 1732)



SHORTTOOTH1's Photo SHORTTOOTH1 Posts: 1,036
2/9/08 9:16 A

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Kissie, what a great story. emoticon

If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it. ~Brendan Francis


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KISSIETAZ2's Photo KISSIETAZ2 SparkPoints: (31,395)
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2/9/08 12:35 A

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Well I posted this before on the hi I'm new thread, but here's how I learned to dive.

I started diving 10 or 12 years ago. I snorkeled before that on vacations to the Florida Keys. Sometimes there would be divers on the boat. It looked cool but kind of intimidating, but I loved the water and snorkeling and when my husband said he was going to learn to scuba dive whether I did it or not, I took the challenge.

I should add that I have very limited upper body strength and mobility due to a "birth defect". I don't have bicep muscles and I have very limited muscles overall in my hands and arms as well as structural abnormalities. I was never good at sports, but I loved the water and my parents often called me a fish because I never wanted to get out of the water in the summertime.

My biggest issue with divng was with the equipment. I wasn't sure if I could handle it. I knew that I was unable to put my mask strap on by myself. I went and talked to the instructor at the local dive shop and told him what my limitations were and he told me he would get me certified.

So...he called PADI and asked what the specific requirement was regarding putting on the mask and they said that the rule simply said that you had to be able to place the mask on your face and clear (I could do that) and that it did not say anything about being able to put on the strap.

And I got certified. I've made over 300 dives and I still can't put the mask strap on by myself (that's what buddies and dive staff are for) and I have had my mask strap come off at 90 feet (no big deal even when no one could re-thread it and I completd the dive without a mask).

Diving is the 1st sport I have ever been good at and it has been and continues to be a very strong motivating factor to get and stay fit. There have been occassions in the past couple of years when I thought I might never dive again because I was so fat and out of shape. Today, I'm looking forward to a trip to Utila, Honduras in April. I weigh 39 lbs. less than I did at this time last year and I've been working out regularly since I joined SparkPeople in August.

I can't imagine a vacation without diving. I hope to be doing it for many more years. I love SparkPeople. It keeps me on track and honest about my habits.

Scuba rocks!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

If we can be courageous one more time than we are fearful, trusting one more time than we are anxious, cooperative one more time than we are competitive, forgiving one more time than we are vindictive, loving one more time than we are hateful, we will have moved closer to the next breakthrough in our evolution.



Jonas Salk


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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
2/5/08 6:45 P

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Most of you know about how I learned to dive - posted all my crazy equipment problems in many a post in Narced Divers Lounge.

In any case - I never really liked being in the ocean. Snorkeling was okay to me, but I always felt like chum floating on the water just waiting for a shark to come take a nibble. I also sun burn like mad, so all in all, I'm not much of a sun-worshiper. Appalling, I know, because I live in Hawaii... but there you have it. I'd rather be in cloudy rainy conditions than sitting out on a beach baking.

In any case, my husband (we were engaged at the time) is a Dive Instructor for his job and he was always pestering me to learn to dive so we could go do dives together, and he finally convinced me to give diving a try. I INSISTED I do my first dive in a pool, though - the thought of having horrible buoyancy in the ocean where it could be fatal to bump into something poisonous like a titan scorpion fish scared me, so first dive had to be in the pool.

I had fun in the pool, for sure. But, I feared and hated the skills where I had to flood my mask and clear it - was certain I'd start breathing water up my nose. But I did okay.

I've had numerous equipment issues since I learned to dive, too.. which either tells me I'm NOT supposed to be diving, or it's just showing me that I have the capability to remain more calm than I initially thought I could in the case of an emergency.

Down at the bottom of the 12' section of the swimming pool, my tank blew an O-ring, so I was down there jetting air out my first stage like a geyser, but I remained calm... I could still breathe... just calmly tapped my husband's shoulder and pointed at the stream of bubbles coming from my back and he brought me back to the surface.

My first open water dive sucked like mad. My mask leaked, my husband thought he put me in a 3mm suit instead of a 5mm suit, so he under-weighted me and I couldn't stay down worth a darn. I told myself under water "if my next dive is as bad as this one, I'm going to say FORGET IT. Diving is not for me!"

Well, lo and behold - I got my mask fixed so it wasn't leaking any more, and my husband corrected my weight... and the second dive was just a lot of fun. I stayed VERY clear of the coral, though... and I still do. I don't like getting too close because I don't need to get an urchin spine in my finger, or worse, put my hand on a scorpion fish...

But yeah. So here I am. I still only have like 13 dives, I think, since I learned, which was back in late September or early October, I believe. But I do enjoy myself now when we're under water. I no longer feel like chum floating there for sharks to chomp on (although I'm sure i'm not exempt from shark attacks simply because I'm UNDER water instead of floating at the surface), and the issue of getting sunburned? Not an issue! Because I'm suited up in a wet suit and I'm under water!

5''5"
Original weight in 2002: 220
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SCUBAHONEY's Photo SCUBAHONEY Posts: 2,786
2/4/08 9:34 P

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I plan to enjoy myself! I'm just hoping that the currents don't keep me from getting some good pictures. This will be my first attempt at underwater photography, and with the currents, I'm worried about getting blurry pics! I love photography, and do great on land, but, underwater is going to be a bit different!

I am a person of infinite possibilities and dreams.

Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.


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DIVE4LIFE's Photo DIVE4LIFE Posts: 7,498
2/4/08 9:31 P

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BIkini

My first blue water dive was Cozumel..You ARE in for a treat. Just relax & enjoy the ride, the currents are fun!

Just START



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MICHELAR's Photo MICHELAR Posts: 22,181
2/3/08 3:25 P

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You are in for a treat Bikin!

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore. (Anonymous)

From wine what sudden friendship springs! (John Gay 1685- 1732)



SCUBAHONEY's Photo SCUBAHONEY Posts: 2,786
2/2/08 12:28 A

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I learned to dive last summer. Brian has been a diver for many years, is the second in charge of the Sheriff Dept's dive team, is a dive master and asst instructor. He kept telling me that I should take up diving, but I was terrified of water, and didn't even know how to swim. Well, I went to the dive shop with him for something and he and the guys at the dive shop ganged up on me and talked me into signing up for the beginning scuba class. I had to take swim lessons for a couple of months before, since you have to be able to swim 200 yards for the class. It was very scary for me to take the swim class, but, after a few lessons I started feeling more comfortable. But, on my first dive class in the pool, I had a panic attack in the deep end of the pool, and one of the instructors had to take me to the surface because I panicked and couldn't swim up myself. At the end of that class, I thought there was no way I would ever learn to dive, and that I didn't want to come back...but, I made myself go back the next class, and, the rest is history!!! I won't pass up an opportunity to get into the water and dive now! Last summer I got 20 dives in (in our murky local lakes), and am now looking forward to my first salt water dive in Cozumel the week of Feb 9th!!!! emoticon

I am a person of infinite possibilities and dreams.

Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.


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DIVE4LIFE's Photo DIVE4LIFE Posts: 7,498
2/1/08 9:06 P

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When we were kids, my sister got to buddy breathe with a guy at our swim club that was a diver. He would take the teenagers out and let them buddy breathe with him. I was too young, and was so disappointed no to be included. So I always wanted to learn to dive. In my 20's a dive shop was located across from my office, but a co-worker told me she had tried diving and got sick everytime she went down. I decided it wasn't for me. 15 years later, another co-worker started dating a diver. He insisted she start diving also and she recruited me to take the cert course with her. Unfortunately, she had a brain tumor removed 2 years previous and it caused her to not be able to clear her ears. She had to drop out, but I continued the course since it cost $. Besides, I was having a blast. Immediately took advanced. Then didn't buy gear or dive for 2 years because I didn't have a dive buddy. Fast forward 2 years, I attended a cover-dish supper and sat across the table from a mermaid. I had seen the dive club advertised before but didn't pursue since it was located in Dallas & I was new to Ft Worth. Well, when she found out I was also a diver, she introduced me to 3 more mermaids at the same party. We went diving that weekend, I bought my BC, Reg, Weightbelt(already had mask,fins,snorkle) the next week. First blue-water experience sold me and I've been LIVING TO DIVE ever since. Stayed with the mermaid club and met my life partner on a trip to the Phillipines. I'm hooked!

Just START



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CDNDIVER's Photo CDNDIVER Posts: 627
1/22/08 9:54 P

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Love your story. One of the reasons I became a dive master, to see the excitement on every dive.
Thanks for sharing

"LIFE IS NOT A JOURNEY TO THE GRAVE WITH THE INTENTION OF ARRIVING SAFELY IN A PRETTY AND WELL PRESERVED BODY, BUT RATHER TO SKID IN BROADSIDE, THOROUGHLY USED UP, TOTALLY WORN OUT, AND LOUDLY PROCLAIMING .......



"---WOW--- WHAT A RIDE!! "

ZEBRA_SHARK's Photo ZEBRA_SHARK SparkPoints: (2,432)
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1/22/08 8:22 A

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Hey, this is funny. I just posted this in the lounge the other day. :) I'll copy it here, since it goes with the theme of the thread. (it makes me feel good about myself, too) LOL :)

I almost drowned twice when I was a kid so, understandably, I was terrified of water, unless it was a pool. I even tried snorkeling in Disney in a little lagoon type thing because basically it was a pool with fish in it. But I got in and it looked so real I **F-R-E-A-K-E-D**. It wasn't pretty. Anyway, when I got talked into trying diving, by one of my very good friends (so he could get the referral $$ on his account at the dive shop) I said, "Ok, I'll try. I know I'll be ok in the pool, but I can't promise anything when we get in open water." I actually had to drive 8 hours to go to where he lived to take the classes. I stayed at his place for the weekend and spent 6 hours in the pool my first day. Within the first minute of it, though, I was hooked. I LOVED IT! I learned everything I could learn in the pool, I read the book cover to cover, underlining and highlighting all over the place. We did the classroom work on another weekend and then it was time for open water.

I had decided during the time I was learning all my skills, that my fear of water was only in my head. I knew how to swim and now I had the training to be a diver and help myself in an emergency. It was only my mind running away with a couple of bad situations. So, I psyched my self up and I actually got excited about the open water dives. I knew we were going to do our checkout dives on the wreck of The Islander (not Wolf Islander) in Alexandria Bay, NY. So, I went online looking for pics so I would know what to expect when I got there. I wanted to know what it looked like "down there" at the ship. It didn't look so bad. The only thing I was worried about was that "murky" water was always what set me off. Not being able to see.

My friend's dad was in my scuba class with me. He was a retired sheriff. GREAT guy. :) Anyway, we drove together to Alex Bay that morning, and I was ready...until we made that last turn toward the water. Then I started getting all scared again. He told me I would do fine; just remember my training, etc. All the stuff I had been telling myself. I got my gear and got suited up at lightning speed (must have been the adrenaline). LOL Then I decided I should tell my instructor about my past issues. I told him if I freaked out down there, this is why. He said, "You'll be fine. The dive master is setting the buoys, why don't you get in the water, and let him know, too. We'll keep an eye on you." When I got in the water, the dive master said, "You'll be fine. Just get in and put your face in the water. You’ll see the ship." I thought, "oh cool, that'll help me feel better."

So I got in, stuck my face in the water, and saw nothing but green murky water. Oh, let me tell ya, that DID NOT HELP! I started to lose it again. Then I remembered I was trained for this, I had been looking forward to it, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this! There was a little bass sitting next to me and I had my fins out in front of me. The bass was checking out my fins and the waves were gently rocking me. So I just floated there, in about 3 feet of water with my feet out in front of me, watching the bass and soaking up the peacefulness of it.

Finally everyone else was in the water and I was practicing deep breathing to keep myself calm. My instructor gave the OK signal, then the descent signal and we dropped down and started swimming down the slope of the bank toward the ship. I was peering into that green murk and then.....there it was, the whole side of the ship just appeared! The awesomeness of what I was seeing hit me at that moment and I screamed "OH MY GOD!" into my reg. LOL It was just blowing my mind that I was seeing a 100 year old ship wreck, 60 feet below the surface of the water and probably that far from shore, and how many people passed by here every day and no idea it was here?!? It was like discovering a treasure! I forgot, at that moment, that I was afraid and I lost myself in the adventure. I have been an insatiable scuba diver ever since. (every now and then I get kind of scared in REALLY murky water, but I remember how I overcame it before and I calm myself down.)

Who would have thought that someone who almost drowned twice, who had a real fear of water, would end up being, not just a scuba diver, but the team leader of a volunteer aquarium dive team, and officer of a dive club?


Starting over...


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SHORTTOOTH1's Photo SHORTTOOTH1 Posts: 1,036
1/21/08 10:58 A

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The first time I ever put on a tank was a complete disaster, discover scuba. My BC was set wrong and I spent the whole time sliding along the bottom of the pool. But I still liked it enough not to be turned off by the idea.
I went on a cruise my senior year of HS to the Carribean. Since I wasn't certified, nor was any of my family, we didn't do any scuba for the trip. But on the last island we decided to try sNuba. I didn't realize at the time, but I was one of only two people who stayed down the whole time. Also, the group leaders were talking my mom the whole time about how I was a natural and they wanted me to come back the next couple days to fully sCuba train me. But alas, we were leaving on the boat and I couldn't do it.
When I was in college one day I was flipping through the course guide and saw a padi ow cert class listed in the gym classes. I was completely broke and couldn't really afford it. But I told my family about it and my mom said that since she saw me fall in love with it in the Carribean she would help me out with the certification. I got the certification then.

Side note; after my brother saw me do the course in college, he searched his course guide as soon as he started school. Now we both have c-cards and go diving together as buddies.

If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it. ~Brendan Francis


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MICHELAR's Photo MICHELAR Posts: 22,181
1/20/08 4:21 P

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I was afraid of the water, almost drowned as a child and never learned to swim. All my life I never went into the ocean deeper than waist high and never stuck my head in water. Beach days were for tanning and going for a quick dip just to cool off. Almost seven years ago, I met my bf and he loved diving.Our 1st vacation together he dove & I sat on the beach. The 2nd vacation he talked me into a private pool lesson and I was scheduled for my very 1st dive ever. I was so scared I thought my heart was going to bust through me it was pumping so hard. It took me 10 minutes to jump into the ocean and down I went. No bouyancy control, holding my bf hand the whole time but totally mesmerized by the fact that I was down there, the beauty of it all and the feeling if total freedon from everything. I dove 5 times the last 4 days of that vacation. The following year I bought a 3ml wet suit, mask and fins and was excited to dive. I still was not certified just had the initial pool lesson to go on. The 1st and only dive that time was not good. The water was choppy, I was not ready to go down but the dm pulled me down. In the chaos I did not equalize and injured my ear, When I needed to go up, the dm would not let me leave the group. At that point my bf signed the heck with you guys I am taking her up. I could not dive again that vacation. When I got back I had to go see a ENT doctor and he said I would be ok after a few months. The following year my bf convinced me if I was going to dive on vacation I was better off getting certified. And I did. Went on vacation after that as a newly certified OW and enjoyed myself tremendously even though I still had bouyancy issues. The following year (last summer) I was AWO certified . I love it and never regretted it for a moment. I know that with more practice I will become more confident.



“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore. (Anonymous)

From wine what sudden friendship springs! (John Gay 1685- 1732)



DIVELEA's Photo DIVELEA Posts: 775
1/20/08 11:13 A

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My husband and I have very good friends who are both long time divers. They planted the idea in our heads about ten years ago. We completed our classroom and pool dives in Delaware, and then we traveled with our friends to Tobago, where we completed our open water dives. Interestingly, we had a horrible instructor for our open water dives. He cut corners and really didn't complete the certification process the way it should be done. We agreed that if we ever became instructors ourselves we would never be like this guy. Now we have both been instructors for a couple years and we work very hard to be sure our students have great experiences during their open water certification. Diving is an incredible experience and teaching it is giving us the opportunity to travel to many amazing and beautiful places.

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. - Jack London


 
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CHICA_BORICUA SparkPoints: (212,179)
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1/18/08 2:34 P

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Good question, how I learned to dive.

Back on 2001 my now fiancée invited me to Florida to a training, so he took advantage fly down few days before the training and drove from Orlando to West Palm Beach to scuba dive. Of course I stayed in the boat because a that time I didn't know even how to swim.

I found the adventure very interesting because divers were talking about their experience. On our way back home he asked me if I wanted to take the classes in which I certainly agreed. He paid me the swimming lessons first (beginner and intermediate) and then the following summer (2002) we went to Puerto Rico for our first trip as a family and took my OW classes and certification.

In the beginning I was hell of scared because I didn't feel the bottom and once inside it was another world I love it. The silence and the only thing that I can hear is my breathing, I felt weird but happy and relaxing at the same time.

Edited by: CHICA_BORICUA at: 1/18/2008 (14:35)
Chica_Boricua

“Always believe in you, believe in what you are in what you have become, do not let other tell you different"

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YONNER66's Photo YONNER66 Posts: 208
1/18/08 12:53 P

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Well done you.....I gave up smoking and instead of sweets i picked diving. I hadn't thought at the time that it would entail getting in water and being under it....I have a great partner and had a great instructor who's patience was a godsend who helped me overcome a lifelong fear of water...I am now about to do an advanced course as i found it the most calming thing i have ever done.

You don't need eyes to see you need vision.

Never take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.


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BLUEDIVR's Photo BLUEDIVR SparkPoints: (0)
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1/18/08 12:26 P

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Short and sweet,

hubby came home and said honey I signed us up for dive lessons. I said WHAT ? emoticon i ONLY GET IN THE WATER TO COOL OFF AND SWIM A BIT .. HE SAID OK , i'LL SEE WHAT OTHER FEMALE wants to learn with me and ...the rest, as they say is history . Now I am not sorry one bit that I learned for there is no other sport like it *grin*

 
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